5 Salesforce Trails to Increase Your Marketing Cloud Productivity

March 2, 2020 Adam Dore

If you’re reading this article, you probably use Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and chances are you’re struggling to maximize how it brings value to your day-to-day job. If this sounds like you, don’t fear. You’re not alone. Incredo reports that 85% of marketers using marketing automation tools say they’re not using them to their full potential

But with 86% of companies expected to adopt marketing automation by 2020, there’s got to be some value in it, right? Exactly right. In fact, Marketing Cloud users see as high as 34% increases in productivity and up to a 23% increase in ROI when they effectively leverage marketing automation.  

As a Marketing Cloud user, the good news for you is that Salesforce provides an incredible amount of training content to help you better adopt Marketing Cloud to see the same productivity and ROI increases of top performers. The bad news? There’s a whole lot of content to sift through – almost 40 hours!  

We always recommend completing as many trails as you can, but we know that's easier said than done! To save you time, we compiled the top trails to jumpstart your success with Marketing Cloud. 

Lacking quality customer data? 

Whether you’re missing data sources or struggling to realize your data's full potential, Trailhead’s got you covered. With Google Analytics, advertising, and social integrations along with out-of-the-box dashboards and measurement tools, Marketing Cloud can help you home in on quality data. 

Google Analytics 360 Integration for Marketing Cloud 

Full trail length: ~3 hours, 10 minutes 

Synopsis: This trail is about accessing quality audience data. Walk through how to connect Google Analytics and Marketing Cloud, set up Audience activations, and get a deeper understanding of the Journey Analytics Dashboard. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:  

  • How to measure your marketing impact outside of SFMC 
  • Use data and audiences over and above what you can do within SFMC standalone, meaning better customer experience and insights 

Optimize Data, Audiences, and Digital Advertising 

Trail length:  ~2 hours, 40 min 

Synopsis: Andrew Davis, best-selling marketing author and keynote speaker, pushes marketers to look at “small data” over “big data” because small choices can paint a big picture of what your customer is looking for over time. This trail tackles exactly that and helps marketers leverage small advertising interactions and tests to improve data quality. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:  

  • Why digital advertising is so important today 
  • How to include programmatic advertising as a key channel to market 
  • How to adopt a consistent approach across channels 

Struggling to leverage true automation and journey optimization? 

Underutilization of key marketing automation features is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face today. And generally, this underuse comes from missing knowledge or skillsets. These three trails focus on automation strategy and implementation best practices. 

Marketing Automation Strategies 

Trail Length: ~55 minutes 

Synopsis: Increasing productivity and ROI with automation is all about leveraging the right data and using the right tactics. This quick trail focuses on leveraging first-party data to schedule and trigger automations that increase marketing productivity and personalized touchpoints. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:  

  • How and why your journeys need to be across channels and responsive to actions  
  • Easily automate and schedule communications – reducing your total effort  
  • About common journeys you can build 

Journey Campaign Analytics and Optimization 

Trail Length: ~30 min 

Synopsis: If you’re using Journey Builder (or planning to), you’ll want to take this trail. It quickly helps you measure how journeys are performing and how actions throughout a journey are impacting purchases. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:  

Quick tips on how and why to measure  

A foundation to think about what you should do with the data 

Get to Know Marketing Cloud 

Trail Length: ~1 hour, 20 min 

Synopsis: It may seem silly to take an intro trail if you’re already using Marketing Cloud, but you can use it as an opportunity to explore products. This trail allows you to go beyond email with social, data, and measurement exercises that give you an inside look at the ins and outs of Marketing Cloud. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:  

  • Taking a step back from the day to day helps you look at how Marketing Cloud SHOULD be used 
  • Gives you a broader knowledge base 

Whew... that may seem like a lot, but in less than a full workday (about 6.5 hours!) with these trails, you’ll be on the road to maximizing your team’s use of Marketing Cloud. If you’re looking for more hands-on examples of how to tackle your marketing automation challenges, check out Automation Integration Drives Customer Experience and Build Your Team's Marketing Automation Expertise ebooks where we break down the top challenges facing marketers and real examples of how companies are overcoming them and driving ROI with marketing automation. 

About the Author

Adam Dore

Adam runs the European Marketing Automation practice for Appirio. He has a wealth of experience running programs for small start ups to multi-national corporates.

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